Going Mental with Nicole: How My Anxiety Affects ME


Having anxiety can affect people differently. I don’t expect people to completely know how I feel when struggling. Instead, I’m hoping that people can better understand how my anxiety affects me.  

Even if I have things I need to get done or should be focusing on, that doesn’t make my anxiety go away or stop me from obsessing. Yes, I know that there are better and more productive things I need to do besides feeling anxious over situations. However, that doesn’t mean my anxiety is automatically going to go away because of it. When I’m struggling with my anxiety and OCD, I can ruminate on situations for days, weeks, and possibly months. I wish I didn’t ruminate as much, but part of it is out of my control. I wish people knew that my anxiety doesn’t turn off because I have things that I need to do.

Anxiety comes in different forms and my anxiety can differ from someone else’s anxiety. I may not experience symptoms that other people with anxiety have. I may talk to my friends or professionals like a psychiatrist, a therapist, and counselor on what I’m going through and how I’m feeling as that does help me. Regardless of how anxiety differs from person to person, everyone’s feelings are valid.  

I want to work on trying to “find myself.”  After going through an anxious period, I really want to find out who I am as a person. I’m making a list on what my interests are and who I am as a person besides just the mental illnesses and mental health struggles I’ve been labeling myself with.  I really want to know what makes me, me.

I normally feel anxious thinking about the “what ifs.” This means I fear the worst possible outcome. Even if a situation is good in the moment, I still feel anxious about something going wrong. I once heard a Youtuber say that anxiety is like living in the worst possible future and couldn’t agree more.

I can be very hard on myself. I have moments where I’m extremely anxious, I’ll have a bunch of irrational thoughts racing through my head. I could be anxious over situations because I may be ruminating on them and fearing the “what ifs.” I like to let others know how I’m feeling when I’m struggling. However, there are occasions where I feel anxious about people seeing me when I’m anxious. I worry how people will perceive me when I’m anxious because I’m worried that others may judge me. I don’t want people to think I’m attention-seeking. I sometimes even feel guilty when people care for me, I don’t want people to worry about me.  

I’ll be honest: there are days where I’m struggling more than others. In some ways I’m grateful, though. If I didn’t have a mental illness, I wouldn’t be advocating for it or understand it. If I didn’t struggle with my mental illness, I wouldn’t be able to share my experiences in a positive way like I’m trying to do now. I feel like everything in my life is leading me to live the best life I can for myself. I hope that others can understand how my anxiety affects me and how it may affect people like me who are affected similarly.